Here at Talk to the Press, we specialise in ordinary people’s stories, known in the industry as real life stories. We’re often asked ‘What is a real life story?’ Our answer is ‘It’s all about the people’.
Real life stories feature real people, not celebrities, and you don’t have to have an extraordinary real life story to see it in print.
Some real life stories fit into categories such as outing an ex boyfriend, or a builder from hell. Other real life stories involve ordinary people catapulted unexpectedly into the limelight.
In terms of real life stories, papers and magazine do regularly feature more ordinary topics, such as a real life tribute to someone who has died, or a story about battling an addiction or beating an illness. We’re certainly not looking for freaky or jaw dropping real life stories. We look for familiar real life stories, that will resonate with the publications readers.
Editors would like their readers to be thinking ‘Wow, I had exactly the same happen to me’ or ‘ that’s terrible – poor thing – so much bad luck.’ If your real life story gets these type of responses, you’re making a connection with the reader. And that is what makes a good real life story, one that the editor wants, and will pay for.